Oh, to joyfully pee in Bill English’s cup!


New Zealand’s un-elected Prime Minister has taken a swipe at workers for refusing unfair and intrusive tests of their bodily fluids. We should all be lining up to joyfully pee in Bill English’s cup!

Not content with checking the pee of beneficiaries, the leader of the Big Business Party has now complained about local workers, blaming their refusal to submit to pee tests for the National Party policy of encouraging record immigration, which others say is making housing unaffordable, depressing wages and driving locals out of work.

The “anecdotal evidence” English had heard was that employers needed to import low-paid immigrant labour because they could not find Kiwi workers who could pass drug tests. It comes just a few months after his predecessor, John Key, said the same thing.

However even if this is true, it says more about low-paying employers and structurally low wages being below what it takes to live in this country, and what’s more it is happening under the current law: the Misuse of Drugs Act they passed way back in 1975, and continue to defend to this day.

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Criminal sanctions have failed to prevent or reduce cannabis use. They have instead created a lucrative black market controlled by organised crime, that is fueling their expansion into methamphetamine and other enterprises. Sanctions around what workers can do with their own mind and bodies have likewise failed to prevent use, measure impairment, or reduce workplace risks.

There are several problems with Bill English’s approach:

1. It may not be legal. There is no law allowing workplace drug tests, so they require the consent of the worker. If it’s not in your employment contract, you don’t have to do it, unless you work in a safety sensitive role. The Supreme Court has ruled, in NZ’s only precedent case which involved Air New Zealand and the EPMU, that random workplace tests are unlawful unless restricted to the most safety sensitive roles. They gave as examples within Air NZ the engine mechanics but not the pilots or tarmac drivers. Because they are highly invasive and demeaning, workplace drug tests may also breach the Bill of Rights (unreasonable search and seizure), the Human Rights Act, and the Privacy Act.

2. It doesn’t work. One of the early and enthusiastic adopters of workplace drug testing in NZ was the forestry industry – yet they remain one of the most dangerous industries to work in, with 32 deaths from 2008 to 2014, 15 times the national average. Impairment on the job is a real issue, however urine testing does not actually measure impairment. Urine tests will pick up traces of cannabis up to four months after the last use. There is no way that cannabis use would affect job performance the next day, let alone several months later. Heavy or regular users (including medicinal users) may always have traces in their system, whether straight or high. Every business that touts drug testing services knows this, yet they push their sham products onto gullible employers desperate to appease their insurers and country club colleagues. This faulty methodology creates disrespect and animosity from workers, who seek ways to beat the system they rightfully perceive as unfair and stacked against them.

3. There are better approaches. We don’t need the State to go around arresting and punishing citizens for what they choose to do on their own time. Research from the USA found lower rates of absenteeism in states that allowed medicinal cannabis. Use of cannabis is associated with lower rates of accidents, according to actual research (not the anecdotes preferred by our Prime Minister). There are more effective ways to reduce safety risks in the workplace – such as better training and management, better equipment and working conditions, reducing fatigue and allowing more rest breaks, not forcing workers to perform mundane mind-numbing tasks, not forcing workers to take up overtime or extended shifts, paying decent wages, and so on. These costs tend to lie with the employer, and this may explain why so many are duped into taking up the cheaper option of forcing their slave-workers to demean themselves by peeing in cups.

Setting a THC level that is based on evidence and comparable to alcohol impairment would be more effective, just, and more widely accepted by workers and decent employers. To that end, NORML has developed a model workplace policy for off-the-job cannabis use in order to help employers implement a more tolerant and enlightened workplace drug policy, a guide to drug testing in order to help employees disadvantaged by the current regime, and an iPhone App that more accurately measures impairment.


  1. a vote for bill is a vote for more bull

    this will be a good slogan if anyone wants to use it here is another slogan

    kill bill or swallow a bitter pill for the next 3 years

  2. What keeps getting neglected in this whole discussion (except by the likes of Joe Carolan and others who’ve actually done research) is that a sizeable proportion of this immigrant labour is required to prop up the export tertiary education sector slave trade.
    We enroll them in shitty courses based on overseas consultants’ advice, often operating fraudulently – and who have close ties to NZ consultants and private tertiary institutions. They’ve begged, borrowed and gone into huge debt that they are obliged to repay. They then are magnanimously (/sarc) given visas tied to specific employers and work under substandard conditions in order to survive.
    And then when we no longer need them and have reaped the fees, we blame them, then chuck them out and gear up for the next round.
    It’s a nice little scam that’s been going on far too long, and it’s only recently that that bugger’s muddle of a Ministry is coming to terms with through the Labour Inspectorate, INZ, and NZQA.

  3. The harsh reality is that most of the 5% unemployed in this country are unemployable:

    Addicts, criminals, illiterate and the terminally useless

    As I previously mentioned here on TDB, employers simply cannot get reliable kiwis, so prefer immigrants. They’re not asking for much, just people who can reliably get up in the morning, do their best and learn on the job.

    Most sites these days have mandatory testing – as a manager I have to take these tests too. It’s not unreasonable – I don’t want to work alongside people using potentially dangerous tools and equipment whilst they’re high.

    • Andrew stop talking a load of bullshert based on the numbers produced from MSD the whole thing was a PR stunt to make a certain sector of our society happy while at the same time making a large sector of society unhappy. How can you justify bringing in the other 40 thousand immigrants based on such whimsical evidence piss poor if you ask me and not good practice definitely not best practice

      • I didn’t question the MSD numbers, but these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

        On top of that number is a far greater quantity of people taking drug tests as part of their job requirement, failing and getting stood down, or people who are already working but applying for a better job and failing a drug test or people losing their job and going on to the dole because of a failed test. None of these instances will be picked up by MSD.

        So it’s a far more widespread issue than MSD capture.

    • Andrew, Quite hard to get to work on time in Auckland with the congestion factor, due to Fuck ups at corrupt AT, a government putting 70,000 new migrants and 180,000 new temporary work permits for people each year of which 60% permanently reside in Auckland, and the have corruption, stupidity and Paula Rebstock on the boards of transport, and roadworks and detours every 20km…

      We are grid locked, but still more people are bought in to replace the Kiwis that didn’t get to work on time…

      And local people are moving further and further out and commuting in each day. All the SHA that were pushed through but no transport links provided for all those new sections. That’s the ‘relaxation’ of the outer limits that we keep hearing about. No mention of transport links to go before the relaxation!

      Auckland public money going to Westgate mall, because it really is a good idea for rate payers to fund Aussie developers according to Auckland council, (sarc) even though there is little public transport out there.

      So all in all, I’m not sure it is just the drugs when workers don’t turn up to work on time any more…. it’s more like government policy.

    • “the terminally useless”
      It’s often mentioned in the MSM that the quality of NZ’s management is lower than can be found in other countries and may be hampering our ability to ‘compete’.

      “learn on the job” – we can only hope that both managers and companies actually know how to do this. Effective OTJ teachers are few and far between – and if the company has failed to establish a training manual plus allowing the time for working through it – and follow through – then they’re trotting out the rocking horse again.

      “do their best”. Could you recognise it when you see it? Do you acknowledge it? Or expect it as ‘that’s what we pay them for’? How mean.

      And many in that 5% will be too old, too qualified, too picky, too camp, too fat, too different or disabled, not ‘bubbly’ enough to even gain an interview – or the courtesy of a reply.

      One finger pointing at. Three fingers pointing back…

    • “employers simply cannot get reliable kiwis, so prefer immigrants.

      Huge sweeping generalization. No evidence backing this statement.

      • Probably one of the most sweeping generalisations I’ve seen,
        It could even be based on a drive up north (whilst wearing flouro in a 4WD, talking on a cell phone, feeling really important because I’m a ‘manager’, arranging the next ‘cashy job’, and pondering over the various scum on the way).
        On that trip north I reach Paraparaumu and decide to get a drink at the local Pek n Soive. Whilst in the car park I notice a Murry holding up and measuring out his “done” in a car, alongside someone in the passenger seat. Shit I think – they must ALL be like this around here: fucking “terminally useless”. I see a few others trying to look inconspicuous, so that seals it. They ARE all the same!

        A little further north, I reach Levin. There I see a bloke with facial tatts. Why the fuck doesn’t he just clean himself up and make himself presentable (according to MY standards). He’s got facial tatts fffs!. Who the fuck is onna employ HIM?!!!

        Same shit, different stink as my 4WD breaks the speed limit, dangerously overtakes and has me talking on my cellphone (because the call is the most important ever thing in the world, because I’m arranging a cashy).
        Hunterville, Manga Fuckn Weka, these cnuts MUST be EVERYWHERE!!). Turangi, Tearpo, shit!!! I’ve spotted one terminally useless in every town!

        etc. etc. etc.

        @ Andrew – you really are a dickhead. You don’t happen to be in Tearanga/Westin Baya Plenny do you?

    • bullshit bills latest mutterings kiwis are all on drugs not supported by fact
      to likes of bill and Andrew facts just complicate there view of the world.
      they created a property and debt bubble there backed in to a corner with no exit
      9 years in and zero to show for it. they are despairate and will lie and say anything to save there own skin, we should not feel pity for Andrew they deserve everything thats coming to the Tory scum

  4. Great write-up Chris. One thing I’d add is that most if not all of the people running the drug testing scams are ex-cops, which gives their bullshit “services” credibility with employers that they’d never otherwise have.

    Obsessive drug testing, like having four security guards on duty at a time at a WINZ office (what bank branch has that many?), is part of an expanding security-industrial complex that is strip-mining our freedom and dignity to send profits to transnational security corporations like the EverGreen International (US-based owners of Armourguard).

  5. The only one here doing any pissing is the Double Dipper from Dipton and his ” we should be glad we have a low wage economy because that attracts foreign investment ”…

    And the type of pissing that the Double Dipper is doing is pissing like a fire hose into our pockets trying to desperately convince us all hes doing us a favour.

    No wonder the useless little prick led National to one of its worse general election defeats in history – and small wonder the little git needed a second hand car salesman like Key to front what English REALLY has in mind for the New Zealand people….

    This guy pisses so hard into the wind with every news release its a wonder he hasn’t landed himself in hospital with severe dehydration !!!

    What an arsehole.

  6. The real problem has always been the same- Kiwi employers pay SHIT WAGES and treat people as expendable to their business interests of making massive profits that go in their back pocket.

    If kiwi workers are so useless and drugged up then why do they work so hard and are reliable in Australia , and are prefered over their Aussie counterparts ?

    Because they are PAID well to do the job.

    A fair days work for a fair days pay , that used to mean something once.after all few of us do it for love and spend a lot of hours giving our labour so why cant we have a national policy on real sustainable PAY !

    Thats what i am waiting for from Labour , some real leadership on what is a major problem.

    Have they got the guts to push this issue ? if they do they will have a captive audience.

  7. andrew is a tosspot not a manager – probably a young one so may not know it describes a vessel used to hold urine until it could be desposed of b4 people like u wanted to keep it & examine it. speaking of tosspots and testing companies i’m reminded of of one andrew may have seen on the trip up north as described by oncewastim above – mercifully we were spared this disgrace cementing/improving his position in govt, despite the traitor & flea, key thinking he had potential – speaks volumes doesn’t it. anyway before his true colours sunk him i predicted he would be involved in introducing a bill to make drug testing etc legal requirement and what do u know ! it just so happens an ex colleague just happens to have left the force and started a company that has a fleet of vans already kitted out and what do you know his tender for the govt issued contract is spot on and what do u know – we got us a methconvoy keeping us safe !!!! as 4 the armourguards at winz – keeping them safe – maybe a review of the treatment of their clients would prevent a repeat but no just a sick strategy to close some offices and make life harder for clients. one last thing – in my area they have just cut funding to social services budgeting office from $22,000 to $4,700 per an despite douchebags key /pigla bennett trumpeting a $22 mil increase to said service in 2014 – WTF !! obviously needed for flag ref, oh & keeping us safe…. let me be clear on this ….. DOTCOM for PM.

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